August 29, 2015

10 Super Simple Cinematography Hacks That You Can Make at Home

Broke? Misplaced some gear? Then these 10 hacks might come in handy.

The team over at DigitalRev have put together a helpful (and hilarious) video that'll show you some tricks and hacks for everything from stabilizing your camera to makeshift filters using stuff you can probably find in your house.

Chances are you've seen a few of these before, like the Vaseline trick, but there are several in there that are big time lifesavers.

  1. Tripod strap: Zip ties and key rings can give you 
  2. Vaseline filter: Putting Vaseline on some glass will give you a nice soft focus, but you'll want to find a way to mount it to your camera before shooting.
  3. Pantyhose filter: You've probably heard of this one before. Stretching some tights or pantyhose over your lens is a great way to filter your shots. Tip: Stretch/loosen them for different looks.
  4. String stabilizer: A length of string can act as a functional monopod. Tip: Wear your cameras strap around your neck for added stability.
  5. Corn stabilizer: Throw some corn, rice, quinoa, or whatever is small and malleable in a bag and set your camera on top for stability.
  6. TP roll macro lens: An empty roll of toilet paper (or paper towels) can get you macro shots.
  7. Camera strap filter: Your camera strap can be used to change your exposure.
  8. Custom bokeh: You can make your very own custom bokeh by cutting shapes into card stock.
  9. Pinehole bodycap: Cut a hole into your camera's body cap for a pinhole lens.
  10. Beauty Pie Dish: Yep -- use a pie dish for a quick and easy beauty dish.

These tools may not be ideal for what you're trying to accomplish on your project. I mean -- if you're a professional and you show up on a commercial set with your Bag-o-Corn stabilizer, that might not inspire a whole lot of confidence in your clients. However, if you're shooting your own film, then the best tools are the tools that work.

What hacks have you come up with on the fly that are cheap/free? Let us know in the comments below!      

Your Comment

7 Comments

Barrel....scraping?

August 29, 2015 at 9:59PM

11
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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1408

What I find makes a very useful tripod is... erm... a tripod

August 30, 2015 at 12:09AM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1044

Actually numbers 3, 8, 9 and 10 do work in a pinch, but yeah pretty ghetto :)
Haha pretty gutsy post for NFS!

August 30, 2015 at 12:28AM

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Darryl Gregory
Director of Photography
148

Gutsy? Hmmm. More like desperate.

August 30, 2015 at 10:38AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1408

Idiotic.

August 31, 2015 at 6:35PM, Edited August 31, 6:35PM

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Nice! funny with good tips and some not so good. I've used the corn bag stabilizer but with a sand bag. The tripod strap looks good but I worry about that top ring getting in the way. My cheap hacks for Space Trucker Bruce included: Wheel Chair Dolly, lots of Home Depot reflector lights with CCFL bulbs and cloth diffusers which added a green tint I had to remove in post, a crew member shoulder as a monopod (did not work), a jar opener as a focus puller, and lots of tape for just about everything.

August 31, 2015 at 7:13PM

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Anton Doiron
Creator/Filmmaker
510

Wheel chair dolly. Now you're talking. I'm also on the lookout for an old fashioned pram going cheap, don't even need the top half. I've also seen sellers at car boot sales using fold up clothes rails and wondered how well a camera would slide along it.

September 1, 2015 at 12:31PM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1044